Thursday, June 24, 2004
END IT LIKE BECKHAM
- missed Beckham penalty kick ends England’s Euro 2004 participation
TWO GULF WARS AND NO WORLD CUP*
- Meire, Meire pants on fire!
Watched Portugal defeat England on the big screen at Paddy's.
Evidently David Beckham is a dual citizen – he played for Portugal tonight.
Why didn’t Sven Goran Eriksson play Billy the Fish**?
But the most apt word goes to the Cockney-language British tabloid, The Sun, who's front page headline screamed (in the finest cockney rhyming slang) "You Swiss Banker" at the controversial Swiss referee, Urs Meier, who, amongst other things, disallowed the last minute goal that consigned England to extra time and, ultimately, defeat.
So much for Swiss neutrality!
Switzerland hasn’t fought a war for some four hundred years (preferring instead, like the UN ,to lubricate and abet wars behind the scenes) but the aforementioned Cockneystan Sun has practically declared war on the Swiss – urging their readers to boycott a list of Swiss products ( surprisingly, The Swiss Family Robinson isn’t amongst them).
But it would be wrong to say that all Brits hate The Sun's "most hated man in Britain" (this week's anyway – there's bound to be another "most hated man in Britain" next week and, rest assured, that The Sun will lead the charge against whoever that bloody foreigner might be), the Brits I watched the game with seemed very concerned about Mr. Meier's health and wellbeing – repeatedly imploring him to get his eyes tested.
Truthfully, I didnt expect England to win - football is a game in which twenty-two players chase a ball around for ninety minutes—and then the English lose***.
I say this with regret because, although I'm not English, I was supporting England.
I maintain that the only football game worth watching is one that features England – as far as passion, drama and tribalism are concerned.
Most people would not equate those emotions with the England team and fans but, rather, with teams like Brazil and their fans.
It seems that half the world are in love with these flashy Harlem Globetrotters of football and their countrymen – mistaking the wild vulgarity of their fans for passion.
Passion when overused loses its currency, becomes devalued and anything but that.
It seems to me that these South Americans would conduct themselves in such a manner even when changing a car tire!
True passion is when a stereotypically reserved people like the English juxtaposition , overcome and sublimate this to a higher good – to fanatically and frenetically support their Queen, country, team and vestige of Empire.
*My modern retake of the triumphalist old English drinking song that taunts Germans with England's triumph over them in "two World Wars and one World Cup".
In fact, the recent D-Day sixtieth anniversary commemorations were in remembrance of England defeating Germany at Wembley Stadium in the 19966 World Cup Final.
Never has so much been owed to so few by so many for so few goals - the final score was 4-2.
**This name will mean nothing to those who don’t read Viz and it serves you right!
Speaking of which, I'm proposing "Urs Meier Cheating Umpire" as a new Viz chracter.
Synopsis of first strip:Urs travels back in time to the Crucifixion and rules that Christ was crucified offside (in relation to those crucified next to him) thus his crucifixion is disallowed and he's not the Son of God.
***To paraphrase Gary Lineker's "football is a game in which twenty-two players chase a ball around for ninety minutes—and then the Germans win".